For The One Who Almost Lost Everything CHAPTER 7

A/N: Kid Flash's first line is from Rita Moreno (The Electric Company). Rocket and Beast Boy panicking is from Keesha and Wanda, respectively (The Magic School Bus). Robin cheering on his giant big brother is from Kari supporting Angewomon's fight against LadyDevimon in "Joe's Battle" (Digimon Adventure). The final battle is based on "The End Part 3" (Teen Titans). Nightwing's warning Kid Flash is based on Mai warning Zuko not to break up with her again in "Sonzin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang" (Avatar: The Last Airbender). Artemis giving Wally multiple small slaps is from Archer Vice. Their conversation is based on the end of "Legends Part 2" (Justice League). Miss Martian's advice is from "Crush" (Kim Possible). Wonder Girl and Robin bumping into each other is from American Dragon: Jake Long; Mae Whitman, Wonder Girl's voice actor, was in both shows. Wonder Girl's "Whatcha doin'?" phrase is from Phineas and Ferb. The "gigantic cheese" quote is from "Heart of Archness: Part I" (Archer). The love scene is from Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. Nightwing's song is PelleK's English cover of Ayumi Miyazaki's "Brave Heart" (Digimon Adventure).

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Young Justice, the Young Justice wikia, DC comics, and the other fandoms that are referenced in the entire story.

When the smoke clears, everyone slowly approaches the wreck. They get into fighting position when the back doors were kicked open.

"HEY, YOU GUY-Y-Y-Y-YS!" yelled Kid Flash before he comically fell flat on his face on the floor, followed by the back doors falling off of its hinges. Artemis comes out and helps him.

"You're alive!" cheered Miss Martian as Artemis and Kid Flash run towards the others. Kid Flash is overjoyed to see Nightwing, but Nightwing flinches back at the sight of Kid Flash.

"Dude, relax," Kid Flash said calmly as he puts his hands up as if he's surrendering to police. "I'm not gonna hurt you. I swear." Nightwing notices the stuff that Artemis and Kid Flash were carrying. Before he could ask them about it, Zucco pushes the minibus away from him.

"No!" he yelled, revealing scratches all over his body. "You ruined everything!"

An exasperated Kid Flash rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah. You would've gotten away with it if it wasn't us meddling blah, blah, blah. It's over, man. Besides, do you mind? I'm trying to reconcile with someone here."

Zucco growled and narrowed his eyes. He stretched his arms upwards and opened his palms faced as lightning flowed from the air through his body. "I SHOULD BE THE ONE WALKING FREELY IN THE REAL WORLD AFTER BEING REPRESSED FOR SO LONG! ME! AND THAT'S JUST WHAT I'M GOING TO GET, EVEN IN SPITE YOU MEDDLING KIDS AND YOUR CIRCUS BRAT LEADER!" proclaimed Zucco as the floor shook and strong winds blew everything everywhere.

Aqualad orders Rocket to create a force bubble around the Team after ordering everyone to huddle together. A split second later, there was a flash of bright light and a blast. The blue bubble landed outside of what looked like the mothership from the disastrous simulation 6 years ago. When Rocket turned off her bubble and everyone got back on their feet, a series of explosions occur in the mothership. A pair of giant gargoyle hands comes out of it and slam on the ground.

"Oh, bad! Oh, bad! Oh, bad, bad, bad!" said a panicking Rocket when Zucco emerges from the mothership as a giant gargoyle.

"I'll make sure none of you will ever wake up from this nightmare!" he boomed.

"What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?" asked a panicking Beast Boy.

"Attack him with everything we got," said Aqualad. Everyone did as Aqualad commanded, except Nightwing who was having a bad case of deja vu and is curled up into a ball because Zucco was now even bigger and more powerful than before. Nightwing suddenly hears the voices of 3 little kids inside his head who said,

"In fearful day

In raging night

With strong hearts full, our souls ignite.

When all seems lost in the war of light,

Look to the stars,

For hope burns bright."

Then, Dick hears Zucco cry in pain and is amazed by what he sees. "I don't believe it. They're hurting him. Despite everything that happened, they're willing to fight him for me," Nightwing thought as he watched the scene unfold. Robin threw birdarangs that exploded into ice on Zucco's eyes; Miss Martian's brain blast gave Zucco a headache; Aqualad created a hard-water serpent; Zatanna blasted magic; Blue Beetles fired sonic blasts; Artemis fired trick arrows; Impulse and Kid Flash created tornadoes; Superboy tosses Beast Boy, who changed into a rhino, at Zucco; Wonder Girl threw giant rocks; etc.

However, the victory became short lived when Zucco grew shadow based tentacles that tried to grab the fighters one by one and squeeze them a little. The first victim was Kid Flash who begged as loud as he can. "Dick, I know I've been a terrible jerk to you and if you don't wanna talk to me again after this, that's fine, but we need your help. Please, I'm so sorry." Zucco threw him in Nightwing's direction. Kid Flash becomes unconscious upon hitting Nightwing who tries to unsuccessfully shake him back to consciousness.

"Get up! Wally, please! Get up!" cried Nightwing. By now, he was surrounded by an unresponsive and defeated Team. "Just like the circus again," he thought. When Nightwing noticed that the familiar stuff that Artemis and Kid Flash had on them were now gone, Zucco loomed over Nightwing and sneered at him.

"You can't save them or yourself. What good are you to them when you couldn't even save your own family?" asked Zucco. With that statement, Nightwing finally had enough. His courage came back when one of his tears hits the ground and his body is enveloped in an aura of yellow, blue, red, green, and purple. When it stopped, he had turned into a giant with owl wings. Nightwing punches him hard in the stomach, sending him flying.

"I can't completely extinguish the darkness because it's a part of me, but it doesn't mean darkness can control my mind anymore," said a flying Nightwing as everyone else began to wake up. They looked towards the sky and see Nightwing and Zucco attacking each other as flying giants engaged in hand-to-hand combat and firing energy beams out of their hands.

"Robin, I know he's your big hermano, but this is ridiculous," said Blue Beetle.

Robin didn't listen and yelled, "GET HIM, NIGHTWING! THAT'S RIGHT! KICK THAT DEMON'S BUTT!"

Zucco fires a stronger dark energy beam, causing Nightwing to crash to the ground and almost crushing his teammates. Nightwing quickly fires at Zucco again, but is struggling. He almost steps on his ex-girlfriend when he steps backwards, but Kid Flash rescues Zatanna just in time and Nightwing apologized. Kid Flash whispers to Miss Martian to telepathically order the others to hold hands and recite the Blue Lantern oath in unison. Upon doing so, white energy transferred from them to Nightwing, allowing him to blast enough energy to turn Zucco into smoke.

"You haven't seen the last of me!" he echoed as the smoke slowly disappeared and the black and white environment turned into dull colors.

When Nightwing glowed and turned back to normal, he faints. Kid Flash catches him in his arms and tries to shake him, but he's unresponsive, causing him to freak out. "Dude, not again! Wake up!" he cried, but Nightwing still isn't responding.

Batgirl suddenly has an idea and whistles for everyone to shut up. She cleared her throat and yelled as loud as she can. "BATGIRL SUCKS!"

"OW!" cried Kid Flash Flash when an awakened Nightwing instantly punches him in the face.

"WHO SAID THAT?!" yelled Nightwing. Kid Flash manages to get out of the way when Zatanna and Batgirl rushed over to kiss Nightwing. He notice a guilty-looking Kid Flash and walks over to him before they finally reconcile with each other with a hug.

"Thank you," he said before he pushes him away and gives him a stern look. "But don't ever. Do that to me. Again," warned Nightwing as Kid Flash's eyes follow Nightwing's left index finger poke him in the left collarbone. Kid Flash gives his best friend a weak smile in response. "Same thing for the most of you guys," he said to the others before hugging Kid Flash as tight as he could.

"Dude, you're crushing me," said Kid Flash who struggled to breathe as Nightwing lifts Kid Flash slightly off the ground.

Nightwing releases him and smirks. "Hehe. Well, I am taller and stronger than you now. Besides, just because you're not part of the Team anymore doesn't mean you don't need to work out."

"Ahem. Nightwing, are you able to wake up and take control of your own body?" asked Miss Martian.

"Only one way to find out," replied Nightwing.

Nightwing's room, June 23, a few minutes after midnight

The search party finally begins to wake up; their foreheads were sweaty and their bodies felt weak.

"What happened in there?" asked Batman.

"Batman?" asked Nightwing. His weak voice silenced all those in his room. Batman hugged him tightly.

"Weak. Weak," said Nightwing which causes Batman to immediately release him from the tight embrace.

"Dick, can you hear me?" asked Miss Martian as her eyes glowed.

"Yes. I can control my own body again but I feel weak," Nightwing responded.

"Hang in there. We'll be back in a few minutes," said Miss Martian before Nightwing nodded. Miss Martian repeats what Nightwing told her to Batman.

"There's still more work to be done," said Miss Martian. "I'll work as hard and fast as I can tonight, but I need to have a few private minutes with the rest of the search party first. Uncle J'onn, can you take over for me, please?"

The Martian Manhunter agrees and the search party steps out of the room. Once they were outside and the door closes, Miss Martian to telepathically link up the others.

"Nightwing's imaginary friends are gone," said Miss Martian. "I don't know if we should tell him because it might affect the process."

"We'll tell him when the time is right, after he's fixed," said Aqualad. "We can tell the others, but tell Nightwing a different version." The others agreed and went back inside.

"Ok, we're back," said Miss Martian, but Black Canary shushes them.

"They're having a private moment together," she said. Batman and the Martian Manhunter come back to the physical world.

Batman asked Miss Martian, "I trust that you and the others can take care of everything from here?" They nodded yes.

"Don't worry, Bruce. We got this," said Beast Boy who suddenly realized his mistake when the room went almost silent.

"Hehe. Spoilers," joked Impulse before Kid Flash elbowed him in the stomach.

"When we go back in there, we'll tell him that you approved this mission despite it involving an invasion of privacy," said Miss Martian to Batman who glared at them to keep their mouths.

Paula Crock's apartment, June 23, late afternoon

Wally and Artemis went to Paula's apartment. Paula was home, but the couple didn't expect Jade and Lian to be present too. After some hugging and catching up, Wally and Artemis were getting ready to leave when Jade puts her sai to Wally's left cheek.

"Remember, I got my eye on you," she said.

"Jade! No weapons when the baby is around," said Paula Crock.

"Yes, mother," said Jade in a monotonous tone as she slowly pulls her sai away from Wally.

"Go threaten your own redhead boyfriend," said Artemis who was carrying Lian in her arms before handing her back to Jade. After everyone finished saying their goodbyes, Artemis and Wally were walking out of the building when Wally joked, "Must be the red hair. Asian chicks dig redheads."

Artemis immediately begins to pelt Kid Flash's face with a quick flurry of slaps. "Ow. Ow. Artemis, quit it. Ow. Will you stop?" complained Wally before Artemis finishes with a larger slap.

"Ow," said Wally.

"Troll," said Artemis before she noticed Wally was sad.

"Wally, what's wrong?" asked Artemis. "My mom forgave you."

"It's not that," he answered.

"Well, what is it, then? I didn't slap you that hard."

"It's stupid, really. I don't get why I feel like this. I mean...they weren't even real," said Kid Flash who didn't even bother to look at Artemis. Artemis knew who Wally was referring to.

"They gave their lives for us. That seems real enough for me," said Artemis who holds onto Kid Flash's left arm to comfort him; they both look up into the sky.

Watchtower, June 23, same time

Miss Martian, who was taking a break, gave some advice to Wonder Girl. Her advice echoed inside Wonder Girl's head. "Cassie, telling a boy you like him is like getting into a really cold pool. Deep breath, then take the plunge."

A sad Robin was approaching Jason Todd's hologram when he and Wonder Girl bumped into each other.

"Oh sorry for-" said Robin before he stared into Wonder Girl's eyes and smiled at her. "Hey."

"Hey yourself," said a smiling Wonder Girl before there was an awkward silence between them. They were both looking away from each other.

"Come on, Cassie. Don't just stand here sweating like a gigantic cheese. Do something!" Wonder Girl thought.

"Come on, Tim. Don't just stand here sweating like a gigantic cheese. Do something!" Robin thought.

"So...Whatcha doin'?" asked Wonder Girl.

"Just came here to contemplate. I overheard Batman wanting Nightwing to temporary leave the Team because of this whole incident. Aqualad and Batgirl are going to be in charge, but I'm worried that when I become leader one day, I might have to do something similar to what Dick did." Robin's voice becomes more nervous. "If and when that happens, what if it goes wrong? What are the consequences and aftermath?"

"Tim. Calm down. You. Me. The others. That whole thing was our fault." Wonder Girl sighed. "Listen, you may not have your brother's confidence, hopefulness"-Wonder Girl started acting as if her eyes turned into twinkling stars when she remembered carrying Nightwing from his pod and could feel his sculpted butt and muscles.-"dreamy eyes, big muscles, those abs or tight butt..."

Robin facepalmed himself upon hearing his secret crush basically admit to sexually fantasizing about his brother. "Cassie!"

Wonder Girl turns as red as a tomato. "Sorry. Besides, if you actually do a secret plan without telling anyone, especially me, I can't promise you that I won't get feel angry, hurt, or confused, but I'll try to remember to let you explain yourself and understand. Ok?"

Robin smiled. "Thank you, Cassie." Both of them hug.

"I don't what I do if I lose you because...well, I love you," said Wonder Girl.

It was Robin's turn to be red as a tomato. He stuttered and said gibberish. "Bruce and Dick are better at this than I am," he thought.

"Tim?" said Wonder Girl.

"Cassie?" asked Robin.

"Stop talking," said Wonder Girl before she leans in and finally kisses him. In the distance, Batgirl was hiding in the trees while Miss Martian was levitating next to her in camouflage mode. Batgirl had videotaped the entire scene.

"Called it," Batgirl said on the mind link.

"About time too," said Miss Martian.

Nightwing's room, June 23, bedtime

By now, Dick was told that Batman approved the mission despite the risk and invasion of privacy. However, the story of what happened inside his mind excluded any mention of his imaginary friends.

Miss Martian had been working as hard and fast as she could fixing Dick's mind. To speed things up, Dick suggested that the former search party be invited back into his mind for a special treat. Once everyone was present, they were seated inside of a big circus tent. There was a puff of smoke and Dick appeared in a red ringmaster costume with gold accents and blue fingerstripes. He cracks a whip and replicas of current and past Team members whom Dick was close to appeared: Zatanna, Roy (the clone), Wally, Barbara, Tim, Kaldur, Conner, M'gaan, Jason, and Artemis. Each replica wore circus clothes. Dick turned his eskrima sticks into a cane and ordered the replicas to combine work together while showing his/her special talents.

Replica Conner- superstrength; high jumps; flight

Replica Jason- pyrokinesis and explosions

Replica Kaldur- Atlantean sorcery

Replica Wally- small cyclones; superspeed; basic gymnastics; food manipulation

Replicas Artemis and Roy- marksmanship with arrows and knives

Replica Tim- bo staff that generates electrical constructs; flight

Replica M'gaan- partial invisibility; telekinesis; flight; command animals; density shifting

Replica Zatanna- turns inanimate objects into animals; change object size; teleportation

Replica Barbara-control inorganic and inanimate objects, especially high tech stuff; martial arts, gymnastics

When the replicas finished their act, the replicas faded away. It was Dick's turn and his act was the final one. He uses his shadow and light based powers to turn the big tent into a Broadway stage and created a self operating set of instruments.

"Before I begin, I just want to say a few words. We tend to view darkness as something that needs to be avoided, but it can sometimes help to acknowledge the hardships that we face. As long as we have people around us who understand and can help, there's no need to suppress darkness or allow it to consume you. Now with that out of the way, here's the grand finale that will have you totally feeling the aster."

The instruments start playing and he starts singing.

Now and then, I know you wanna quit and give up,

But keep on going,

'Cause only you can walk this path that has been,

Laid out only for you,

We rise and fall,

I can't recall If I ever seen,

You afraid or insecure,

You're not the quitting type,

You stand your ground,

Seize! The days and the dreams you have,

Protect! The people you care about,

You'll be the Hero that we need,

But didn't deserve,

Unknown! Powers dwell in your heart,

And when! It's fire was lit it will,

Explode and our wishes!

However ambitious!

Will grant us a whole new start,

Show me your Brave Heart.

While Dick sang and the instrumental part took over, he grew owl wings and his body emitted an aura of yellow, sadness, red, green, and purple. The colors of the environment outside the stage began to turn from dull to bright. Everyone couldn't believe that Nightwing could sing and that he sounded like Jesse McCartney, something that made Barbara, Zatanna, and Cassie scream. Tim smiled even though it was embarrassing to see his girlfriend scream like a fangirl.

Not all days are sunny,

Sometimes rain will appear,

From the blue sky,

But make the rain your friend,

Find an umbrella and keep your chin up,

Smile through the night!

No map can lead,

You to your ultimate destiny,

Only you really know,

That is the beauty of being free,

Run! Faster than the wind,

Aim! Farther than the skies,

Discover a side of yourself,

You never knew,

Unknown! Courage deep in your heart,

And when! The time is right your story will,

Unfold and our trials,

The tears and the miles,

You walk to a whole new start,

Show me your Brave Heart.

While the guitar solo played, Dick made translucent non-speaking replicas of Tula, Giovanni Zatara, Marie Logan, and Tim's parents appear as special gifts just for this occasion.

Seize! The days and the dreams you have,

Protect! The people you care about,

You'll be the Hero that we need,

But didn't deserve,

Unknown! Powers dwell in your heart

And when! It's fire was lit it will,

Explode and our wishes!

However ambitious!

Will graaaaaaaant

us a whole new staaart...

Nightwing's room, July 4 early afternoon

Nightwing's mind was completely fixed. After giving Beast Boy back the stuff that he had rescued prior to the Cave being blown up, Nightwing had asked Batman and members of the former search party to come to his room.

"Where's Kaldur?" asked Nightwing.

"He'll come back tomorrow. My king wanted to speak with him about something in Atlantis, but I don't know what's it about," answered Lagoon Boy.

Nightwing sighed. "You'll have to tell him when you see him."

Robin knew what this was about. He had been dreading this moment for almost a week.